It's Feature Friday today and I think it's time to feature the very first tool I started using when free motion quilting:
Machingers Quilting Gloves!
The instructor had helpfully provided many different tools like halos, sponges, hoops, and gloves to make gripping the quilt top easier.
I played with all of the items on her table, but it wasn't until I slipped on the Machingers that I could immediately see a change in my free motion quilting skill.
Keep in mind that I'd never stippled before in my life! So I was pretty amazed when the gloves went on and I could suddenly create better lines and curves.
My shapes still weren't perfect, but they were worlds better because I had better control over the quilt sandwich.
The truth is, cotton fabric is very slick. It's hard to get a good grip on the quilt top without clenching the sandwich in your fist, and this can put loads of strain on your fingers, wrists, and arms.
You can quilt for much longer stretches if your hands and fingers stay spread out on the quilt top, but with how slick the cotton fabric is, your hands will just slide over the surface unless you use something grippy to maintain control.
The gloves are the perfect grippy tool to help you move the quilt easily and smoothly over the surface of the table without clenching your hands around the top.
Machingers themselves are nylon gloves with rubber coated tips. The only areas that are coated are just the finger tip areas, so your hands can still breathe and won't get sweaty even after hours of quilting.
As you can see from the photo, the gloves are meant to fit very snuggly and are available in 4 sizes. Click here to check out the different sizes available.
I mentioned before that I've tried hoops and halos and many quilters really like these tools for establishing that control. I find that they get in my way and impede my visibility.
I also hate having to worry about when to reposition the hoop when I want to be concentrating on my filler design instead. That's just my personal bias though, so always try something out for yourself to see if it works better for you!
So that's it for this Feature Friday! The gloves are available from my Quilt Shop and are also available in the Ultimate Quilting Kit as well.
Let's go quilt!